Big news and bad news today for Gopher football: Running Backs coach Thomas Hammock, known as their best recruiter, is leaving the U for the same position with the Wisconsin Badgers. The reason? According to head coach Jerry Kill...
"Thomas felt the stability of our coordinator situation meant that the opportunity to advance from running backs coach to offensive coordinator would come quicker at Wisconsin."
I can't blame Hammock. He got a taste of being an offensive coordinator late last season, and had a hand in wins over Illinois and Iowa. He wants to advance his career as a coach, and because Kill's coordinators have been with him a dozen years or more, there just wasn't going to be an opportunity to get back to being the OC anytime soon at Minnesota. In Wisconsin, we've seen them cycle through coordinators as they move onto HC's somewhere else. Current Badger OC Paul Chryst interview for several HC positions at the end of the past season, and it will be no surprise if he takes an HC job somewhere at the end of next year.
So while I can't blame Hammock, this still really, really hurts the U in the short term. Hammock was known as our best recruiter, and now that guy will be coaching and recruiting for not just one of our biggest rivals on the field, but perhaps THE biggest rival in recruiting. Like Wisconsin needed another advantage, but they have one. Best of luck to Hammock, but at the same time, the worst of luck too. Brian Anderson, who's been with Kill for 10 years in various capacities, has been promoted to fill Hammock's role as RB coach.
Sid Hartman believes the U still has a shot at the NCAA tournament. Not sure which season Sid has been watching, or what year Sid thinks it is. Perhaps he's confusing the NIT with the NCAA, thinking this is the 1940's and the NIT is the better tournament?
If you want to hear from a Startrib writer who actually knows a little somthing about Gopher and college basketball, you can read the replay of Myron's Gopher hoops chat from yesterday.
Roman has his weekly Gopher hockey chat today at noon. Still no word on Jay Barriball's health for the weekend, although considering the opponent is Michigan Tech, they may not need him. Then again, considering we would have said the same thing about UAA and the Gophers split with them, maybe they could use him this weekend after all.
Ryan Cardinal has a preview of the weekend series against Michigan Tech that SHOULD result in 4 points for the Gophers. Key word there, if you didn't catch it, is SHOULD.
Gopher forward Jacob Cepis was named the WCHA co-Offensive Player of the Week.